The Kx platform is designed to be extended, customized, scaled and integrated in many different ways. The posts, tags, categories and pages are accessible to outside systems via the Web. All the key features and functions of the knowledge exchange are exposed as customizable function calls that allow rapid enhancements and Web 2.0 mash-up applications. Additional functionality can be added by feature plug-ins, UI themes, DBMS calls and unified sign-on integration. Email interface is part of the interaction strategy to alert members of the exchange to changes in topics for which they have subscribed.
Key UI Components for Community Interaction
- Questions - The purpose of our Kx is to generate discussions. We use questions to ignite thinking as opposed to statements that can polarize. A question solicits thought and challenges a person’s intellect. This brainstorming is the ember for focused, productive discussion within and between silos. Participants pool their intellectual resources, define issues, and refine their thoughts to share information. Questions urge answers.
- Answers - Answers to questions can take a variety of formats. Since answers are reviewed and voted on by the community, they tend be much more carefully thought out by the writer than in other forms of communications like email. Ideas and conclusions are often supported by evidence that can easily be attached to any answer in the form of hyperlinks to supporting material. Good answers will rise to the top of the Kx via voting.
- Power of Tagging - Inclusive Dialogs: A tag is the equivalent of a subject and is a powerful attribute of a knowledge exchange. Simply by clicking on a tab a member creates and is often presented with new sub-communities, many of which cross silos. User tagging also makes content easy to query and retrieve. Users can be alerted via email when a question is added with a tag so members are contacted based only on tags that interest them. The only other email users will receive, if they so choose, are alerts when their questions get answered.
- Voting – Users can easily vote content up or down based on the degree to which each user finds particular questions and answers to be relevant, helpful, and authoritative. These and related self-refining and self-organizing knowledge capabilities ensure that the most useful and relevant content rises to the top of the site.
- Reputation - Software algorithms measure the value, as perceived by the community, of members’ contributions. High value earns the contributor “reputation”.
- Embedded Surveys – For direct, real-time user feedback, Ascension can conduct custom surveys and sidebar polls by embedding them directly into question or answer threads. These surveys can contain custom forms based on thread content. They can be integrated with survey platforms like LIME and email and can also take advantage of Google survey tools.
- Support for Complex Answers - Documents, hyperlinks to supporting material such as research papers, PDFs, images, video, MP3 audio recordings, etc. can be embedded in both questions and answers.
- Hot Community Topics - An extensive prioritized discussion under the tab “most votes.” There may be old or new material in this list, based on the value of the content, not when it was written, like in a blog or wiki. This type of interaction is impossible with email. The process is intuitive and needs no training.
- Living Knowledge - All voted on communication is archived on its site, the most useful and relevant content rising to the top of the site. In this way, the Kx retains the history, a “living” knowledge base for reference that is not attainable via conventional media or knowledge management systems.